The Jalynn Bennett Amphitheatre at Trent University’s Catharine Parr Traill College – poised to become a new home for arts, culture, and history in downtown Peterborough – has received a significant $560,000 funding boost from the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage as a part of the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund Program.
Nestled amongst the designated heritage buildings that adorn the downtown campus, the Jalynn Bennett Amphitheatre, named after the late Trent University Board of Governors’ chair whose foundation provided seed money for the project, will meet a longstanding community need for a centrally located outdoor stage – providing increased and improved access to arts and culture in the heart of downtown Peterborough.
“Our dream for the amphitheatre falls directly in line with the challenge from Jalynn, to do something ‘bold, audacious and effective’ for our community,” says Julie Davis, vice-president of external relations and development at Trent. “This funding is incredibly exciting as it allows us to take our dream to the next stage of development. Not only will the new amphitheatre provide students with a space to practice and perform, but it will be a new home for arts and culture in Peterborough’s historic downtown – uniting music, theatre, expression, and history.”
The new three-season amphitheatre, situated in the central courtyard of Traill College between London and Dublin streets, will feature tiered seating for 80 to 100 people, professional lighting, and carefully directed sound, utilizing the designs of ancient Greece that contain acoustics. It will also be an important tribute to the late Jalynn Bennett, a dynamic community booster who ardently believed in the value of both arts and heritage.
Officially endorsed by both the EC3 (Electric City Culture Council) and the City of Peterborough’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage Advisory Committee, the amphitheatre will further Trent’s commitment to the community by waiving rental fees for student, amateur and non-profit groups.
Community partners including 4th Line Theatre, New Stages Theatre, Public Energy, Nogojiwanog Indigenous Fringe Festival, Peterborough Symphony, and the Peterborough Historical Society have also endorsed the project – excited for the potential that the community space and subsequent experiential learning opportunities hold for the next generation of performers.
New experiential learning space connecting students with arts, culture, and heritage
Beyond the community benefits, the amphitheatre will also provide essential space and hands-on learning opportunities for students studying at Trent – helping to foster the next generation of learners, artists, and performers.
“Several Trent departments based at Traill offer music, performance, or theatre as a part of their curricula,” explains Dr. Michael Eamon, principal of Catharine Parr Traill College. “The amphitheatre will expand the educational experience as well as offering a new venue to enrich Peterborough’s cultural experience. It will be a space where professional artists and performers will entertain the community and also provide experiential learning and mentorship opportunities for students in various programs including Culture and Media Studies, English Literature, and Canadian Studies.”
Construction of the new amphitheatre is set to begin this summer, with a projected completion date in September 2022.
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful, and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate, and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives, and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty, and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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